Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this unit group.
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Clinical perfusionists (also known as cardiovascular perfusionists):
The cardio-pulmonary technologist profession is not formally recognized as a discipline in B.C., but is in other jurisdictions in Canada.
People in these occupations:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 610
N/A - Data not available
Respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists share some of the same duties, such as training students and participating in research, as described below.
NOTE: The cardiopulmonary technologist profession is not formally recognized as a discipline in B.C. since respiratory therapists perform these functions:
Most workers in these occupations work a typical workweek. However, 8- to 12-hour shifts, usually on rotation, including weekends, evenings, nights and holidays can be common. In addition, workers may be on call for emergencies and be required to work long hours.
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists generally work in health-care facilities. The work is physically demanding since these workers spend long periods standing and walking throughout hospitals. The work also involves a lot of bending and lifting.
Workers may also have to cope with the emotional aspects of working with the sick, injured and terminally ill, as well as patients' families.
These workers can be exposed to infectious disease so infection control and sterilization procedures are followed to reduce this risk.
Source: 2016 Census
Entry-level training programs in respiratory therapy, clinical perfusion and cardiopulmonary technology (outside of B.C.) are generally two to three years in length. To become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) with the Canadian Society of Respiratory Technologists (CSRT) requires:
All respiratory therapy training programs in Canada are a minimum of three years. Respiratory therapists may also become members of the British Columbia Society of Respiratory Therapists (BCSRT). For more information, visit the CSRT website at www.csrt.com and the BCSRT website at www.bcsrt.com.
Clinical perfusionists must be certified or eligible for certification by the Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion (CSCP). Certification requires:
Those currently enrolled in an accredited clinical perfusion program can become student members. For more information, visit www.cscp.ca. In jurisdictions outside of B.C., in order to become a Registered Cardiopulmonary Technologist with the Canadian Association of Cardio-pulmonary Technologists (CACPT) candidates must write the CACPT registration exams. In order to write the exams, they must:
Visit the CACPT website at www.cacpt.ca for more information.
Workers who are certified for an occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Job opportunities are expected to come from retirements and new job creation.
The growing demand for health-care services will increase work opportunities for these workers. In particular, hospitals and related health-care facilities are expected to experience growth that will result in new jobs.
An older population will see an increase in respiratory ailments and cardiopulmonary diseases, such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease, thereby increasing the need for health-care workers in this group. Advances in treatment for heart attacks, accidents and premature babies will also continue to increase demand for workers in these occupations.
Growth in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry will be somewhat offset by efforts to better run the medical system so costs do not get out of control. Cost management measures include reduced hospital stays, increased outpatient services, and prevention and wellness programs.
Advances in medical technologies, treatments and procedures mean that these workers must stay on top of new innovations to be effective in their jobs.
Industry sources report that there is currently a significant shortage of respiratory therapists, particularly in larger hospitals, and that the current supply of graduates cannot fill the vacancies. To meet their staffing needs, B.C. employers continue to look for respiratory therapists from other provinces and internationally.
The current supply of clinical perfusion graduates is also insufficient due to a lack of a clinical perfusionist programs in western Canada. A new perfusionist program is now available at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Respiratory therapists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, critical care, pediatrics, cardiopulmonary diagnostics and respiratory home care.
Experienced respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists may advance to clinical specialist, supervisory positions or teaching.